After a few days shooting in Muara Jambi it was time to move on to our last site for the trip, Muara Takus, in the more northerly province of Riau, which had been the home of one of the first great civilisations in Indonesia, the Melayu Kingdom, which lasted from around the 7th-13th centuries.
Muara Takus is one of the few surviving candis from this kingdom and is therefore especially valuable, although many of the artefacts found here were subsequently taken to Museums in the west, or sold on the art market.
The site lies around 125km west of Pekanbaru, which is where we were staying, and took around 2 1/2 hrs to reach, but over fairly good roads, in what is, in fact, a fairly remote area. I think even a few years ago it would have been much harder to reach.
The main site consists of a number of fine candis, including Candi Tua, a stepped temple, Candi Bungsu, similar is shape, but smaller, Candi Mahligai, a high stūpa-type building, and a number of smaller structures around the site.
The main site as it is now seems to have lain within a large enclosure, and there are still apparently earth-walls around running for around 4km, and some smaller remains, but we didn’t see these.
Our hosts at Pekanbaru were from Ehipassiko, one of the largest and best organised Buddhist groups in Indonesia, and our sponsors for this photo shoot, which will form part of the Candi Nusantara book project covering all the main Buddhist remains in Indonesia.
On the final day of the tour I gave a nearly 3-hr. Dhamma sharing with our kind hosts in which I gave a presentation showing How Buddhism had Spread throughout Asia and then took questions from a very interested and educated audience. It was a good end to our stay in Indonesia this year.
A Far View of Muara Takus
A General View of the Site
Candi Tua, the Largest Building at the Site
Candi Mahligai, a Tall Stūpa-like Building